Kenny Dorham Day

August 30, 1924 – December 5, 1972


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Trumpeter and composer Kenny Dorham was born on August 30, 1924, in Fairfield, Texas.

Dorham is best known for his work in bebop, but his career began with swing. During the ‘40s, he played in the bands of Lionel Hampton, Billy Eckstine, and Mercer Ellington.

From the mid-‘50s to the mid-‘60s, Dorham recorded extensively as a leader, including the influential LP Afro-Cuban.

He performed with the who’s who of bebop, including Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, and Sonny Rollins.

Dorham was a charter member of the original “Jazz Messengers” and also did sessions with Thelonious Monk and Sonny Rollins. He was the trumpeter who replaced Clifford Brown in the “Max Roach Quintet” after Brown’s tragic death in 1956.

Although he was often acknowledged among bop’s most gifted and active trumpeters, Dorham like so many great jazz artists never received the recognition in life that he truly deserved.

After spending his final years ill with kidney disease, Kenny Dorham died on December 5, 1972. 

The poet and jazz historian Dave Oliphant (who also played jazz trumpet) created this book length epic poem tribute to Dorham

Click here for: KD a Jazz Biography


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